I've driven my 2002 230 Kompressor (Manual Transmission) for about 40,000 miles. I purchased it at 80k. There has been some routine maintenance... tires, brakes, and I did a $700 suspension refresh (shocks/struts/arm bushings/motor mounts/transmission mount) at 110k since the cushy Mercedes rubber had worn a bit. I could have continued to drive with the suspension as is... I chose to be preventative. The only time the car has let me down was related to the anti-theft system. The steering column lock has a junky little Chinese-made motor in it that prematurely fails. Mercedes won't sell you the part, so you are forced into letting them replace it ($2200) or being locked out of driving the car. Thankfully, I was able to buy a $25 emulator from England to cut that part out of the security system entirely. Then, I cut the lock off the steering column with my angle grinder = no more problem now or in the future. For what it's worth, Nissan, Suzuki, and others are having the same steering lock issue. The difference is that those manufacturers will sell you parts for it while Mercedes will not. I find the car to be sporty with above average acceleration (plenty of supercharged torque to spin the wheels), acceptable fuel economy (26mpg avg), and reasonable handling. It feels a bit top-heavy to me, but that's probably because of the copious safety features. This would be a solid car in an accident... much better than the Mazda I drove previously. Lots of air bags, tank-like safety cage, etc. I love the panoramic roof on mine... almost like having a convertible. There's a kit to reinforce the little motors that open it. The kit will keep it running flawlessly for a long long time. The interior is lovely and comfortable; the AC works well. Grippy tires are a must as it's rear wheel drive. Grippy tires (Pirelli P7 Cinturato+) transform the car in inclement weather. My only regret with this car is that it isn't a convertible, lol. Oh, for those on the fence, the 2002 manual transmission model is the C230K that offers the most tuning options (crank pulley for 40+ more horsepower etc) and the least engine/mechanical problems... it's the one to buy if you are looking. One caveat: the paint on these sucks. This was the start of Mercedes water-based paint, so it didn't always get sprayed evenly. As a result, cars driven in snow will need to have a few rust spots corrected earlier than competitors' cars. It sounds like I'm picking on the car a lot here, but I purchased a German engineered Mercedes Benz - the most costly hatchback ever at the time it was sold - for $5,000 with 80k miles on the odometer. Minor issues aside, it was an absolute steal, and I've enjoyed my time with it. I'm guessing that with the maintenance I've done, this car will easily see 200,000 miles with little more than oil changes. The 16 year old engine doesn't drip a thing... clean, dry, and reliable. This was the last year of the supercharged 2.3L, and it was essentially perfected.
I bought my 2002 c230 used with 70xxx miles and have had nothing but problems here's a list:
1.water pump went out and car overheated costing $1400. 2. Sun shade/ roof won't open or close $1200. Rear Diff seal/ leakage in suspension causing rear tires to wear rapidly $1400. Drivers window will not go up or down (still broken). Horn stopped working (still broken) Seats have a short in wire causing battery to die (still broken). On the flip side the car is fast and fun to drive. The people at Mercedes actually know my face when I walk in for repairs. I almost wanted to invite them to my family Christmas party since I'm there so often we've built a close friendship.
I bought a c230 Kompressor Coupe in may 2008 with only 65,000 for less then 8,000. Great deal on a great car. The car handles, accelerates, and stops flawlessly. I hit a deer going 75 and came out with just a dent.Had i been in a Honda or something of less quality guarantee the car would be totaled and myself injured. I got the car fixed and has been awesome and reliable. Maintenance is high- find a loyal cheap foreign repair shops with ex Mercedes Benz mechanics. worth the savings.
fast, comfortable, never get tired of driving it.
Cheaper maintenance, better interior materials( real wood would have been nicer then cheap carbon fiber crap) not to mention kept the Mercedes image.
Great turning radius, easy to drive and park, and looks good. Great speaker quality. Cruise control--unlike with some cars--will hold your mileage steady through hills and valleys. Find a great mechanic who doesn't work for Mercedes, and you can keep the maintenance costs down. Solid and safe car!